For her next engagement in Paris the Duchess of Cambridge did, indeed, don a second outfit, but it wasn’t from a French brand as anticipated, but instead from the tried and true British Alexander McQueen. As I’ve said before, I do try to start these posts on Kate’s engagements with the significance of the event itself, but in this case I actually do find it notable that she donned a British designer in light of this week’s Brexit news and royal assent.
It may be a coincidence, sure, but the chances of Kate not understanding the meaning of wearing a British labels while rolling into Paris, the epicenter of fashion, is highly unlikely. A nod to the designer of her wedding dress is likely quite calculated, a showcasing of Britain’s cultural standing, if you will.
The gown was custom-made and accessorized with over-sized pearls and Balenciaga earrings. The event for which she wore them celebrates the official launch of a program called “Les Voisins,” or ‘the neighbors.” The significance of this event, which is very much focused on the ties between the UK and France, should be noted. If there was ever a country for the UK to remain in step with, it’s France.
William spoke at the reception, held at the British embassy, saying:
“And forgive me if I now continue in the language of Shakespeare, so as to reduce the risk of mangling the language of Molière. It is a pleasure for Catherine and me to be here this evening, in this beautiful, elegant, and global city […] Before I came here, Her Majesty The Queen reminded me of how much she has enjoyed her many visits to France. It is a feeling that Catherine and I entirely share, and look forward to this and many more visits in the years to come.”
His full speech can be viewed here.
Today’s dress was beautiful. It reminded me of one of Kate’s early hits, back in 2011, of a sleeveless black velvet Alexander McQueen gown that she wore with a dramatic showing of rubies. However, I liked the velvet one a bit more than today’s choice. In execution, it was a solid “fine.” The hair could have been up and, for whatever reason, I didn’t think this gown’s cut was particularly flattering on Kate. She looked beautiful, of course; she always does, but I didn’t love the leather belt and the necklace felt distracting.
You only get to arrive in Paris for the first time as Duchess of Cambridge once, and I had been hoping for a bit more of a statement.
One final thought: The cut of this lace dress accentuated Kate’s curves so much it made me imagine what on earth this would look like on a woman that lacked her natural height and slimness. So, on that note, let’s all go to bed wondering that.
Kate wore one more gown this evening, a blue Jenny Packham, which I can’t wait to write about. I will, however, save that for the morning. See you then.